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CoV breakings news
Posted: Tilanus Commodor @ Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:21 pm
Dear NE fans,

I tell you these very BREAKING NEWS with both a laughing and a crying eye.

First the GOOD NEWS: The issue of missing AI players/civs and Homecity creation has finally been resolved! The credit for this great achievement in AoE3 modding goes to kangcliff, the programming genius of NE and Daniel Pereira from WoL. Cool

Now the BAD NEWS: This technical breakthrough makes our beautiful Congress of Vienna obsolete and therefore the further development of the CoV will be cancelled for now. Unless, we find another use that makes it worth picking up the work again..


What does it mean for the further development of NE?
Good things. This (CoV breaking) news brings us back into a position where we can release. So a release of NE 2.1.8 is now more likely to happen. Wink

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Modding Report #26 - End of the year 2015
Posted: Tilanus Commodor @ Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:56 pm

#26


2015 has been a silent year for NE as we've sadly had no releases, but you people certainly still had a good year with all the great games, movies and music albums having been released 2015, right?
(AoE2 HD: African Kingdoms anyone?) Wink

In this report I'll let you know what we've been working on this year and what's next to come:

  1. First of all, the CoV (Congress of Vienna), our announced civ selection tool: The slow progress on coding it is the main reason why there hasn't been a new NE version in 2015. Surely, we could have released a version like NE 2.1.7b, but we felt very determined to stick to our promise that the next NE version would fix the limited civ selection. Sorry for that! Our coders are doing their best now to get the CoV done as soon as possible! Smile

  2. The Danish are done on the coding site. I've done my best this year to get in contact with the quite rare Danish people and managed to get some nice Danish sounds from their greatness. A lot of thanks goes to Jesper, Anne, Troels, crjensen4 and Anders for their recording efforts! The major deficit in the development of the Danish are their graphics, but we're already working on the missing models.


    Ridders are mounted healers that protect your troops and can take a lot of damage


    The Jütlanders are the Danish Royal Guard Dragoons


    The Rundkirke ('Round Church') is a defensive church that increases the power of nearby military troops (first stage design)


    The Danish are superb defenders thanks to healer support and hitpoint boni. Units like the Ridder unify these boni very well.

  3. The Persians turned out to be a hard nut to crack during development and their concept brought up a series of questions we had to find answers to. Such as how the Persians are supposed to fit into the order of asian, TAD-style civs that on the other site have quite a lot in common with Ottomans. Since the mod is with the Persians going to feature 3 muslim civs, we started to consider unique traits of muslim civilizations. Also longer phases of inactivity of the people trusted with their development caused some notable delay. We managed to resolve most of the open questions though and now they're on a good course again.


    Tofangdar Musketeer of the Persian Safavids (Age 2)


    Tofangdar Musketeer of the Persian Afsharids (Age 3)


    The Tofangdaran are not true musketeers as they don't have a bayonet to beat cavalry in melee. Instead they are inverse musketeers and have a small ranged anti cavalry bonus. They also possess a good range and damage, but come with a price.

  4. All civs were and are being reviewed for potential civ redesigns and a series of decisions has already been made and realized. A few examples of things we're working on or are planning to do:
    • Americans with less, but new settlers. More revolutionary, mass militia-based gameplay with batch training (moved from Russians).

    • British without Longbowmen and Dragoons, but 1-2 new unique units. Limited access to skirmishers and riflemen. We can also imagine a British booming bonus without manors.

    • New AI leader and artillery unit for Dutch, considering Musketeers, Dragoons as well as Arquebusiers with Royal Guards.

    • French with a Commander unit and citizen system (instead of Settlers) imagined from NE3. More revolutions than any other civ.

    • The German unit roster is being modernized further in which War Wagons will be replaced by Dragoons and the Doppelsöldner's appearance in later ages will be avoided by turning them into some other Landsknecht-style unit.

    • The presence of archaic Italian units will be reduced by replacing the cost-inefficient Condottiero as well as the Utili and introducing more Royal Guard units. Condottieri will take a Shogun-like role. Their economic powerplay will experience a strong nerf, which includes new military downsides.

    • The Ottomans got the designs from PredatoR's Ottoman Civ mod included in a way that fits NE. They'll get new unique university units, an unique revolution and further new Ottoman designs, units and maybe a new building are planned.

    • The Polish-Lithuanian civ profits from ideas and suggestions made by user Pawelec_POLAND. Hodowlanys (now Folwarks) are no longer age up requirements, but the age up systems will be changed to something else (with no ordinary age 5). Their stable units have been completely redone incl. their royal guards. Winged Hussars (or Husarze) will be a new infantry-crushing heavy cavalryman.

    • The Portuguese will no longer get the best Dragoons, but become an excellent infantry civ with good connections to their numerous colonies. Free TC bonus restored.

    • Russians say do svidaniya to stereotypical, soviet-style Strelets and get a very decent Arquebusier-Skirmisher hybrid instead. Archaic units like Oprichniki or Poleaxemen will reappear at other places in either the Russian civ or the mod. Better late game thanks to stronger units and greater unit selection. Also considering stronger Asian influence. Unique settlers and delayed modern units. Batch training moved to Americans.

    • The almost medieval Spanish will get most of their archaic units compressed in a new Tercio banner army. New Church tech units and milita unit.

    • Sweden is getting completely reworked with ordinary Royal guards and no freaky stat boosters. We'll ensure their strong rush capabilities through a new unique unit that replaces 2 regular Barracks units. Hackapells removed as mercenary and merged with Drabants, whose stats have been revised as well. Torps changed to functional houses. New interpretation of mercenary and arsenal bonus. Leather cannon removed, Hussars added. Dragoons sacrifice range for damage. Generally Swedish units profit from stronger melee attacks.

    • The Swiss civ is turned into a new sort of civ that doesn't do well in 1v1, but does very well in a team. Hussars will be replaced by a new Swiss rider. No longer mobility-focused gameplay. Normal civ setup without Followers. Supply wagons act now as mobile house, arsenal and resource gatherer.

    • Chinese, Indians and Japanese are now considered to get updated or reworked if we can come up with realizable, satisfying alternative concepts. Kangcliff suggested a better Consulate system. Firestorm and Hillys have made up their minds on more accurate, credible concepts for Indians and Japanese. We want Indians to feature their native armies and not those of the British East India company (i.e. with Ghurkas). The presence of archaic elephants will strongly be reduced, artillery gets modernized and their stable units will be reworked.

    • We've also had ideas on how the Aztecs, Iroquois and Sioux could and should look like in NE. Their alternative concepts fundamentally reject the idea of euphemistic, exaggerated native super warriors and get them and their capabilities grounded. Some ideas are very radical and it seems likely that we would - in case we do rework them - treat them as bonus civilizations.

    • Some people liked the Inca bonus civ in NE and there are also some voices within the team that vote for continuance in the mod. If there should ever be something like that, it'll remain a bonus civ, that gets a fictive design, but receive our very special historical credibility treatment. Wink


  5. Ideas and features that we are working on that affect various civs:

    1. The Chevauleger (without x) is becoming the "new Hussar" in regards of stats. The Hussar will in return be lighter and cheaper.
    2. The Elite units (also Late game units) from University will be rebalanced and given new designs and concepts. We also consider more civ-specific designs of them.
    3. Cavalry Archers will most likely become available in Age 2, but also need a Veteran upgrade to be on same level as Dragoons in Age 3.
    4. Redesigned revolutions for the Euro-style civs.
    5. Just for fun we sketched some bonus civs.
    6. There will be some new mercenaries and treasure guardians.
    7. We are redoing visuals of regular objects like Crossbowmen, Mamelukes, Cavalry Archers and more Smile
    8. I selected and included new sounds for weapons and UI. They're really good (so wouldn't be surprised to see WoL stealing them.. Razz )
    9. We have been sketching new maps for NE and the cooperation with befriended modders over the year has been fruitful. Expect many new maps!
    10. Surely, we'll also ship new natives with them and update older ones. Arabs, Scots, Greeks, Cossacks will be next!
    11. We were and are reviewing the standard techs, especially the many ones in the University and consider to make them fit the European or Napoleonic theme.
    12. We consider new roles for standard buildings such as Churches and Capitols.
    13. What was announced earlier still counts: All royal guards and units from Church techs will receive civ-specific, unique unit designs, thanks to the tremendous work by JRussell!
    14. Napoleonic Era will finally stop acting as a mere, inofficial expansion to the game, but increasingly emphasize and build its own characteristic features, that - in our view - improve the whole game.
    15. Prepare for more stuff from the other Age of Empires games. We are working on that!


Further infos on what NE 2.1.8 will contain will be coming in January 2016. But for now, let's all end 2015 with a nice NE screenshot of ..
Spoiler:

British Redcoats!
(Musketeer Royal Guards)







King Green!



The NE team wishes all of you a happy new year 2016!
Hooray! Hooray! ^^


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Merry Christmas!
Posted: Tilanus Commodor @ Fri Dec 25, 2015 1:56 pm


Merry Christmas!
King Green!



Santa Clauses and their animal servants guarding the Christmas tree and its beloved gifts!


The elite of Santa Grenadiers is engaging with their dangerous christmas baubles! Devil


Santa Clauses going mad over protecting the gifts from these greedy, materialistic people! lol



Wololo!
Priest


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Modding Report #25 - New Archers
Posted: Tilanus Commodor @ Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:40 pm

#25


In this report we'll introduce you to a new shared unit, the Archer! He is the counterpart of arquebusier, crossbowman and skirmisher for the Muslim civilizations.

Despite being renowned as the “gunpowder empires” in history the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals still deployed a lot of archers on their military campaigns. Armed with a composite bow instead of heavy firearms archers were very agile troops. Mastering the bow was evidently harder than learning to fire an arquebus, but archery has been an elemental martial discipline in the East and West Asian populations ever since. Thus the supply of skilled bowmen was in these countries contrary to Europe de facto unlikely to decline.

So the plan is to give the Archer to the Ottomans, Persians and also the Indians at a later point in time. It may also be available for other civs through HC cards or Church techs. You might be surprised about an archaic unit like the Archer going to be added to the mod in the actual, ongoing process to modernize or napoleonize the civs. The coverage of infantry archers in major civilizations is already quite remarkable if you consider the Japanese Yumi, the Chinese Chu Ko Nu, the British Longbowman and finally all the TWC archer units. But well, who says these civs are always going to stay like this, right? Wink

We always felt that the muslim civs deserve archaic skirmishers much more than the European civs, which do use Crossbowmen and Arquebusiers. We love civilizations having gameplay that emerges from the units they did field in historical reality and Ottomans without Archers are actually like British without Musketeers. Also it's almost needless to say that everyone loves being able to train cheap archaic troops early on in order to bolster a rush or the counter-rush army.


Left: Firing Archers; Right: Idle Archers, Desert Archers (on top) and Oryx


Archers are archaic units just like Crossbowmen and Arquebusiers and thus can get upgraded only once, except there is a royal guard upgrade available. They are good at countering light cavalry such as Dragoons and heavy infantry like Musketeers or Pikemen. Here are the current (!) stats of the archer compared with those of Longbowmen, Crossbowmen, Arquebusiers and the also upcoming Desert Archer mercenary:



As you can see Archers reload faster than any other unit and are pretty quick with their feet as well. He costs a bit more wood than the other units, that's because he's probably gonna fire a lot of arrows per minute. Wink

What you cannot see within the table is that the siege attack of the Archer has a range of 10, which does in combination with the increased rate of fire and comparably high siege damage turn the Archer into a good unit for early raids. In some way he also takes the pikeman's job in that regard, which Ottomans, Indians and Persians do not possess. The already existing units of Ottomans and Indians will be rebalanced accordingly once the Archer is applied to them.
Finally it's obvious that the Archer has few hitpoints and won't be able to survive charges of melee troops even though his melee stats aren't that bad for an archaic ranged infantry unit.


This screenshot depicting muslim outlaws also features Bandit Archers on bottom,
which will appear in NE 2.2 as treasure guardians


While Desert Archers (Mercenaries), Bandit Archers (Guardians) and Persians will be introduced to NE only in NE 2.2 the Ottomans will get the Archer already in the next version, NE 2.1.8 and thus earlier than originally planned! Cool

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Modding Report #24 - CoV Teaser
Posted: Tilanus Commodor @ Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:10 pm
Hello Ladies! And pals. What's up?

Welcome to a new series of modding reports! King Green!

I hope you've all enjoyed the summer sun and have cooled down enough to be prepared for the hot news around the Napoleonic Era mod for Age of Empires III! Cool

Not only Napoleonic Era, but also me as its leader were and are off to new shores. Early that year I started working as a game designer and have been working on several small mobile game productions, among them a free 'Snake' remake that's (yet) called Whiz Worm. You may try, enjoy and rate up the app for iOS and Android. Mr. Green

As for the mod's concern let's go on with Napoleonic businesses after this 'shameless self-promotion'!
Napoleon


________________________________________________________________________


Current version: 2.1.7b


As announced earlier, we decided to make smaller but more frequent reports. NE 2.1.8 will be our next version and mainly evolve around the release of a new tool programmed by kangcliff and designed by me, Tilanus. Ladies and Gentlemen, Napoleonitas and Napoleons, let me present you ..

Spoiler:



.. the Congress of Vienna civ selection tool!!
Cool



ABOUT THE TOOL
Some might still wonder: Nice, but ... what will it do? Confused
Well, AoE3 with both expansions supports only 14 active civs at a time, you can not have more. The CoV lets you choose which civs you want to be active, so the AI can use those and you can create new homecities for them.

So far, we could only provide you with pre-created homecities for the lacking civs for use in singleplayer. We've received quite numerous questions regarding missing civilizations in the past. Therefore the Congress of Vienna will finally address and fix this major deficit!

DESIGN
Me and kangcliff put a lot of efforts into making the tool as easy to use as possible. We wanted everything to be visible in one window and not cascade dozens of dropdown menus, extra windows, tabs for funky fancy extra features. The selection mechanism for civs should both, look and feel good. Even though the CoV comes with a couple of smart additions, its design and look stays slim and spartan.
This Is Sparta!

FEATURES
The CoV allows you to:
  • Select any civs you want to play with via simple click on them
  • Reset the civ selection to your last configuration
  • Clear a civ selection that you felt you messed up
  • Randomize the whole civ selection for teh lulz
  • Pick any out of 7 prepared themes (civ selection sets)
  • Add & Substract whole groups of civs per game with just one click
  • Preview the changes you made before game start
  • Hover civs with your mouse cursor to read elemental civ infos
  • Get notified whenever a new NE version is ready for download!
  • Visit the most important NE web profiles in an instant


You always need to have selected 14 civs to be able to start the game, otherwise the Play button won't be clickable. For those of you who would like to know more about how the CoV works in detail, I've just uploaded the technical documentation sheet I was elaborating for internal use by kangcliff.



The preview function is meant to be a last control entity since we don't intend to add a save/load function. That's both, because those functions would overload the design and because the tool already allows you to change and correct the civ selection to your likings very fast. The preview lists precisely which civs are, which are no longer and which are still going to be available as you agree to the selection. You can turn this feature off if you don't need it. It's supposed to look like this:



Each of the 7 premade themes contain 14 civs chosen by a certain topic. So whenever you click a theme, it will replace your whole current selection. As you hover a theme icon with your mouse cursor, the CoV will highlight the changes that will occur to your present selection. For example, all previously selected civs that are not featured within a set will be flagged with a red tick while those that are going to be added will receive a white, transparent tick (see the technical documentation for more details).

The 7 themes and civilizations within are:

Themes Spoiler:


  1. Archaics

    Aztec
    British
    Chinese
    Germans
    Indians
    Iroquois
    Italians
    Japanese
    Ottomans
    Persians
    Polish
    Sioux
    Spanish
    Swiss
    Russians

  2. Thirty Years War

    Austrians
    British
    Danish
    Dutch
    French
    Germans
    Italians
    Ottomans
    Polish
    Prussians
    Russians
    Spanish
    Swedish
    Swiss

  3. Maritimes

    Americans
    British
    Chinese
    Danish
    Dutch
    French
    Italians
    Japanese
    Ottomans
    Polish
    Portuguese
    Russians
    Spanish
    Swedish

  4. Europeans

    Austrians
    British
    Danish
    Dutch
    French
    Germans
    Italians
    Polish
    Portuguese
    Prussians
    Russians
    Spanish
    Swedish
    Swiss

  5. Colonializers

    Americans
    Austrians
    British
    Chinese
    Danish
    Dutch
    French
    Germans
    Italians
    Prussians
    Ottomans
    Portuguese
    Russians
    Spanish
    Swedish

  6. Napoleonic Wars

    Austrians
    British
    Danish
    Dutch
    French
    Germans
    Italians
    Polish
    Portuguese
    Prussians
    Russians
    Spanish
    Swedish
    Swiss

  7. Largest Empires

    Americans
    British
    Chinese
    Danish
    Dutch
    French
    Indians
    Ottomans
    Persians
    Polish
    Portuguese
    Russians
    Spanish
    Swedish


The game sets allow you to make very quick changes to your selections by picking civs per game. For example, let's say you have selected all civs from TWC, TAD and NE, but lack those from the original AoE3. Then you could simply add all AoE3 civs at once by clicking the AoE3 game set icon. If you then click the same icon again, all AoE3 civs would be removed from your current selection. With these 4 icons you can build your full selection pretty quick. By the way, if more civs could be added through a set than remaining slots are available, the CoV will fill up your selection with civs from the set in alphabetical order (so Swiss have a bad chance then at the NE civ set).

Those are the sets:

Game sets Spoiler:

  1. AoE3 civs

    British
    Dutch
    French
    Germans
    Ottomans
    Portuguese
    Russians
    Spanish

  2. TWC civs

    Aztec
    Iroquois
    Sioux

  3. TAD civs

    Chinese
    Indians
    Japanese

  4. NE civs

    Americans
    Austrians
    Danish
    French
    Germans
    Italians
    Persians
    Polish
    Prussians
    Swedish
    Swiss



I hope you enjoyed this first modding report after a long while! If you got any questions left on the Congress of Vienna, shoot me your questions right here! Smile

T

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